Judge refuses to reduce sentence in '93 murder

June 24, 1994|By From Staff Reports

A Carroll judge has refused to consider a shorter sentence for Timothy Cumberland, the Reisterstown man serving 40 years of a life sentence for the 1993 murder of a Westminster man.

Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. on Tuesday denied Cumberland a sentence-reduction hearing. The judge said in a written order that there are no grounds to grant the 24-year-old's request.

Michael D. Montemarano, Cumberland's attorney, said yesterday that he was disappointed but not surprised by the judge's decision. The attorney has called Cumberland's sentence unfair and excessive.

"My client was punished for going to trial," Mr. Montemarano said.

Cumberland was one of three people convicted in the shotgun death of Gregory Lamont Howard, a 22-year-old who was killed Jan. 28, 1993, after a drug deal -- in which he wasn't involved -- went sour.

The Center Street shooting was believed to be the county's first drug-related murder.

Cumberland's co-defendants -- Daniel Justin Leonard, the owner of the murder weapon, and Samuel Allen Miller, the trigger man -- both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the fall.

Leonard is serving 10 years in state prison; Miller is serving 30.

Cumberland's case was the only one that went to trial. In February, a Carroll jury found him guilty of first-degree murder. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Cumberland has appealed his conviction to the Court of Special Appeals, which has yet to set a hearing date.

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